Are You Truly Poor?

Mar 21, 2016 1661

“Looking at his disciples Jesus said, “Blessed are you who are poor, because yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets” (Luke 6:20-23).

Those who stepped out to follow Jesus remained “poor” in the most basic sense; they didn’t follow the Master to make a fortune. But Jesus assured them that if they gave up everything to follow him, then the kingdom of God was theirs. What an incredible promise! No-one could rob them of that reward. In that day all their negatives become positives. “That day,” is not just reserved for the future for it is already a reality.

We find another layer of meaning to Jesus’ words when we go to the language in which the story was first written: Greek. The word used for ‘poor’ describes a person whose will is bent over and who is helpless before God, the person who finds all his or her strength in God. So this Beatitude tells us that anyone who relies on the sacrifice of Jesus will be given a place in the kingdom of God.
Another word for ‘poor in spirit’ is ‘humble’. When we are humble, when we are bent over before God to acknowledge our helplessness, he can give us the greatest prize in the universe: a place in his kingdom.

When Jesus’ addressed his disciples, his words were meant for his disciples all through history, which is why they were included in Scripture.

The key to Jesus’ message is found in the words: “Blessed are you who hunger now, who weep now who are hated now, whose names are rejected as evil, because of the Son of Man.” If others despise you because of your faithfulness in sharing Jesus with them, then you are truly blessed.

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